Contrary to popular belief, cats and dogs can get along just fine. It takes careful planning to ensure that everyone lives together in harmony.

The outcome will depend on your pet and the household. Therefore, you should make preparations that reflect your specific circumstances. Here are some tips that will help your cat introduction go smoothly if you already have a pet dog.

The key to planning is

It’s important to think ahead before bringing a new pet into your home. Consider your current dog and its personality and temperament. How might it react to a new cat? Bring a cat into your home if they display signs of aggressive predatory behavior. Ask your vet or the RSPCA staff for advice if you are thinking about getting a cat. Many of the cats we have in our care were raised with dogs.

Before you bring your cat home

Some cats are better suited to a household with other pets than others. If you have an older pet, consider getting a more calm, dog-friendly cat.

Spend some time before bringing your new cat into your home, preparing the house and existing pets. Be sure to provide your cat with plenty of hiding and resting places so that they can easily and safely retreat from your dog, if necessary. You should also make sure that your new cat is provided with a secure, private area, free from dogs, where they can find everything they need: food, water, litter, and a bed.

Let them relax

Allow your cat some time to adjust and get comfortable in their new home without your dog. When the cat feels comfortable exploring the house on its own, lock your dog into their favorite room with their bed, food, water, and favorite toys. Then, let the cat explore the house at its own pace and get familiarized with the dog’s smell. Repeat this process over the next few weeks, allowing both animals to explore the house without any confrontation. While you wait, reinforce your dog’s training using rewards.


Introduce the two when your dog’s calmest. Take them on a long walk before the introduction. Use a room where your cat can easily escape to a secure place. A high platform would be ideal.

Ideally, your dog will be crate-trained. You can distract your dog in the crate with a toy and then invite the cat inside. Give your cat positive experiences, such as treats and playing with it.

After both animals are relaxed, you can let your dog out of its crate on a lead. Start with this step if you can’t put your dog in a cage. While the cat is present, please keep your dog on a leash and praise them for their calm behavior. Remove your dog from the room if it becomes too excited. This can be done several times per day.

It’s important to be patient and ready for this process, which could take a few weeks. Never punish either animal for aggression. Please do not leave them together until you are sure they will get along. Also, make sure that your cat can escape to a place where the dog cannot go.


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